Home Blog Celebrity chef wields bat, tells driver 'I'll kill you' during road rage … – WPLG Local 10

Celebrity chef wields bat, tells driver 'I'll kill you' during road rage … – WPLG Local 10


Steve Owen , Assistant News Director
Steve Owen , Assistant News Director
BOCA RATON, Fla. – A celebrity chef, who has appeared on television cooking shows nationwide, has been arrested after a wild road rage incident.
Boca Raton Police say Ralph Pagano, 55, attacked another driver with a baseball bat.
According to the arrest affidavit, officers responded after a 911 call in March.
A man says he was driving his son to school on Jog Road, when he was cut off by a black Tesla.
The driver said he slammed on the brakes and honked his horn at the Tesla.
The victim says the driver of the Tesla then stopped in traffic and began yelling at him.
He says he then “flipped off” the driver of the Tesla.
Moments later, the victim said the driver of the Tesla stuck a baseball bat through his open passenger window, and shouted “I’ll kill you!”
The victim said the bat nearly hit him in the head, and hit his juvenile child in the head.
The driver of the Tesla then took off.
The child was not hurt.
A witness told officers that he saw the Tesla cut off the victim’s car, and that the “driver of the Tesla emerged from his vehicle wielding a baseball bat. The driver of the Tesla then shoved the baseball bat through the open front passenger window of the vehicle.”
The witness went on to say that he “fully believed that the Tesla driver was actually attempting to hurt the victim.”
The victim was able to jot down the license plate number of the Tesla, and officers say it was registered to Pagano.
Police say the victim then positively identified Pagano from a photo line-up.
During questioning by detectives, Pagano “denied ever having a baseball bat or using it to threaten or hurt anyone.”
Detectives said that, based on all of the evidence, they had probable cause to issue an arrest warrant for Pagano.
He was arrested on Monday and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and aggravated child abuse.
Pagano bonded out of the Palm Beach County jail about 18 hours later.
Pagano runs the popular Naked Taco restaurant franchise. There are four restaurants in South Florida.
Local 10 News documented his recovery after he was badly burned in a kitchen explosion at his restaurant in the Bahamas in 2017.
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Chef Ralph Pagano, who is the host of Lifetime’s culinary show, “All Mixed Up,” was injured this week in an explosion at his new restaurant in Bimini.
Celebrity TV Chef Ralph Pagano is known for his vibrant personality and passion for food, and Thursday marks the beginning of his comeback to cooking.
Steve Owen is the Assistant News Director at WPLG, and helps lead the daily news operations.
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